Woman Before Butt Lift Surgery
31 May 2018

Florida Health Department Sues Plastic Surgeon For Brazilian Butt Lift Death

Florida’s Department of Health has filed suit against a plastic surgeon for committing medical negligence, according to the Miami Herald. Dr. James McAdoo is accused of negligence in performing a Brazilian butt lift procedure that left 29-year-old mother of two Heather Meadows dead. Meadows passed away in 2016, only two months after delivering her second child and just a few days after undergoing surgery at Dr. McAdoo’s clinic, Encore Plastic Surgery.

Botched Brazilian Butt Lift Led To Mothers’ Death, Attorneys Say

The Miami County coroner has attributed Meadows’ death to a fat embolism. Fat was allowed to enter her veins; it traveled to her lungs and she stopped breathing. Meadows went into cardiac arrest on the operating table, in part due to a pre-existing heart defect. She was pronounced dead at a local emergency room.

Butt Lift

Brazilian Butt Lift Risks

Shockingly, Meadows’ story isn’t as uncommon as you might think. By all accounts, undergoing a Brazilian butt lift can be dangerous. The risk of death posed by the procedure, in which fat is removed from the belly or waist and transferring it to the buttocks, is about 20 times greater than for any other plastic surgery procedure, NBC Miami reports.

A survey of 692 cosmetic surgeons, published in a 2017 edition of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, confirmed at least 25 deaths due to the operation nationwide. Universally, these tragic deaths were caused by pulmonary fat emboli – fat was allowed to enter a vein, reach the lungs and stop the patient’s breathing.

Former Patient Describes House Of Plastic Surgery Horrors

But what happened at Dr. James McAdoo’s surgical clinic may be exceptional. In an interview with the Miami Herald, one former patient compared Encore Plastic Surgery to a “chop shop” – “everybody was rushed in and out,” the patient said, “you go into a room, they push you out and another girl is rolled in.” And the clinic’s operating room, she continued, was even more troubling: “there were bloodstained bandages under the operating table, and blood spattered on the walls.”

Despite her reservations about the clinic’s quality, the patient went through with the procedure. It was a huge mistake. She contracted MRSA, a virulent bacterial infection that is invulnerable to most antibiotics, “and was left with deep indentations in her stomach, knotted scars in her waist and an uneven bulge in her hips,” the Herald writes.

Cosmetic Surgery Clinic Hired Unlicensed Docs, Hurt Patients

And she isn’t alone. Florida compliance records link Encore Plastic Surgery to at least one other death and numerous severe patient injuries. Nyosha Fowler, who spoke to the Miami Herald in May 2016, was left in a 28-day coma after undergoing a Brazilian butt lift at the center. She says she’s now permanently disabled.

Investigators describe Encore’s marketing tactics as bordering on obscene, targeting out-of-towners to its Hialeah location with extraordinarily low prices. Prior to her death, Heather Meadows hailed from West Virginia.

The problems at Encore, court filings suggest, didn’t just begin and end with James McAdoo. Through a network of clinics in and around Miami, Encore Plastic Surgery and Vanity Cosmetic Surgery, owner Ismael Labrador employed multiple unlicensed surgeons, including a man who was charged in 2013 for waterboarding his girlfriend over a Facebook message. Labrador was arrested and charged himself in 2007, ultimately settling the case for a $30,000 fine and community service.

State Health Department Says Malpractice Caused Fat Embolism

Now, one of Encore’s surgeons is facing legal action from the Florida Department of Health.

In its civil lawsuit, the State Health agency accuses Dr. McAdoo of causing Heather Meadows’ death by committing medical negligence. McAdoo failed to conduct a sufficient physical examination of Meadows prior to her procedure, State prosecutors claim; Florida’s health department says plastic surgery patients should wait at least three months after giving birth before undergoing a procedure.

The surgeon’s actions in the operating room have also been called into question. State prosecutors claim McAdoo was too quick and sloppy injecting Meadows’ fat back into her body. The doctor accidentally hit a vein in her buttocks, Florida’s lawsuit says, ultimately causing the fat embolism that led to her death.

Surgeon Denies Wrongdoing

Dr. McAdoo denies the allegations “and fully intends to contest these issues through the appropriate administrative process,” a statement from the doctor’s attorney says. McAdoo has already settled a civil wrongful death lawsuit filed by Meadows’ family. Her parents are now pursuing a case against Encore.

Encore Plastic Surgery Looks To Reform Image, Shake Scandal

Since the young mother’s death, Encore Plastic Surgery has attempted to perform two facelifts on itself, changing its name twice in hopes of shaking off the specter of a patient’s tragic (and possibly negligence-caused) death. The company is now called Jolie Plastic Surgery, the Miami Herald reports.

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